Neville was counting on a selection gamble for the day.
He explained on his podcast, "They were in the corner, they were getting punched.
"This is when the great teams somehow muster a performance, go in and turn it on its head. And I just had the feeling that Pep Guardiola would have been thinking about this game for the last two or three weeks.
"And I just felt Pep Guardiola would have something different for us, something unique. Something that we've come to expect from him over the last five, 10, 15 years.
"And I got what was normal, what I expected. The team the newspapers and us picked in the morning. Fernandinho and [John] Stones at centre-back.
"Manchester City played well in the game from a football point of view. But that back four and that goalkeeper were never going to be able to cope with this ground."